A Diversity Perspective
Edited by Mine Karataş-Ozkan, Katerina Nicolopoulou and Mustafa F Özbilgin
Chapter 4: Synergies of CSR and diversity management: a converging agenda
Maximizing employee commitment and engagement in order to enhance firm performance has typically been an objective assigned to the human resource (HR) department of an organization. Corporate social responsibility (CSR), on the other hand, is an ascending new trend that is somehow viewed as a separate organizational function with particular relevance to external firm stakeholders and no connection to human capital management. In this chapter, we argue that this compartmentalized view of HR and CSR is somewhat outdated, and instead emphasize the important convergence and potential synergies between CSR and diversity management, as a subset of the HR function, for the healthy growth and development of any business organization. More specifically, the chapter highlights the significant overlap and interfaces between the CSR and diversity management agendas, and the potential synergy that can be created from systematic efforts in both directions in terms of improving the social and economic bottom line of the firm. The chapter is organized as follows: We begin by providing an overview of the CSR paradigm, particularly in relation to a distinction between internal and external CSR, and outline an important argument here, namely that the internal dimension of CSR potentially overlaps with the diversity management agenda. We then discuss the diversity management paradigm and its meaning and evolution against a backdrop of a variety of affirmative action laws across both the US and Europe. From there we begin to synthesize more systematically the convergence between CSR and diversity management.
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